NASCAR Daily Fantasy Helper: Pocono 400
There was a lot of disappointment last week when all of our Kevin Harvick lineups came crashing down early on in the Coke 600. However, we have a new week, which means another opportunity to roster Harvick and all of our other favorite drivers.
We have everything you need here at numberFire to get you ready for the race. Our track preview and driver preview set the stage for this weekend, and our Heat Check Podcast has you covered for lineup building strategies
So without further ado, let's dive into the Pocono 400.
Kyle Busch ($12,000): After a dominating performance in the Coca-Cola 600 that included 377 laps led and an average running position of first place, Busch is in yet another solid position after qualifying fifth for the Pocono 400. While not the most optimal starting position for Busch, he has one of the only cars on the track that will be able to pass well enough (and early enough) to get some of the relatively few laps-led points that Pocono has to offer. The ability to pass is more important this week than it is in most weeks due to the sheer difficulty of being able to pass another car at Pocono. On top of that, the smaller number of laps at Pocono along with stage racing reduced the length of an average green flag run to 25.8 laps between the two Pocono races in 2017. Given how much speed the 18 car has been able to produce so far this season, this is a good spot for Busch.
Kevin Harvick ($13,500): If it feels like we are writing up Harvick and Kyle Busch every week, it’s because we are. But the circumstances are always so juicy for the two of them every week, and there may still be a slight edge to be had when it comes to Harvick's ownership. Many lineups were up in flames last week due to the crash he had on lap 84 coming into turn 3. Enough lineups where some people could be thinking twice about owning him again at a $13,500 price tag. Along with the sky-high price, his practice times have been relatively lousy for a car that we would want to dominate this race. However, we can overlook that a bit due to his current form. Harvick has maintained an average running position of 11.4 (including the Charlotte race), and he’s leading 16.38% of laps when he is running. That's some very strong form heading into this race, and he has the potential to lead a good percentage of laps.
Ryan Blaney ($10,000): Again, it is very hard to pass at Pocono due to the lack of long runs the race provides the drivers. This flaw at Pocono could ultimately be for the best for Blaney, who is starting on the pole. Blaney has low-key been one of the better drivers on the circuit this season, and his current form shows it. In his last five races, excluding Talladega, Blaney has maintained an average running position of 9.2, garnered 7.3% of the fastest laps, and has led 21.48% of the laps where he is running. That is pretty darn good, and Blaney could lead a good portion of this race. And remember, because there are only 160 laps, finishing position means a lot more at Pocono than it does at most tracks.
Clint Bowyer ($10,300): If Ryan Newman had better current form, I would be putting him in this spot over Bowyer. However, since Newman's form is middling as of late, Bowyer is the guy. Also, we can give the edge to Bowyer because his car seems a bit faster in practice than Newman's. When looking at Bowyer's recent production, you get a guy who has run in the top 10 on average, and he’s been able to run fast laps and hold position. If Bowyer can gain a few spots during this race, that would be superb. But for the most part, all we need from Bowyer is for him to not lose position on the track, and that is a very realistic outcome for him.
Paul Menard ($7,600): Starting in the 20th position, Menard has some room for positive place differential, and he can give us a solid performance through a decent finish. There is almost no way he is going to lead any laps in this race, but even if he finishes in the 15th through 18th range, Menard would still deliver a solid output on FanDuel. He finished 20th and 19th, respectively, in the two Pocono races last year. An added bonus is that Menard has an average running position of 18.2 in his last five races.
Alex Bowman ($7,400): All that should be asked of Bowman at Pocono is for him to hold position as he is starting in 14th. Anything added to that by way of positive place differential is just a bonus. Unlike Menard, Bowman has been able to produce fast laps, to a degree, generating fastest laps on 2.54% of his laps run in the previous five races. Pairing that with an average running position of 15.6, Bowman should be able to do the bare minimum for us and hold position.
Evan Cheney is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Evan Cheney also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Theman90210. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.